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at one stroke

All at once, with a single decisive or powerful action. When the economy crashed, thousands lost their jobs, their homes, and their pensions at one stroke.
See also: one, stroke

blow something

Sl. to ruin or waste something. I had a chance to do it, but I blew it. He blew the whole five dollars on candy.


1. tv. & in. to leave (someplace) in a hurry. (see also blow town, blow the joint.) It’s late. I gotta blow.
2. tv. to ruin something; to ruin an opportunity. It was my last chance, and I blew it.
3. n. a setback; an attack. Acme Systems Industries suffered a blow to its plans to acquire ABC Steel Widgets.
4. tv. to waste money; to spend money. Mary blew forty bucks on a secondhand radio.
5. in. to become very angry; to lose one’s temper. (see also blow a fuse.) Finally I had had enough, and I blew.
6. in. to play a musical instrument, not necessarily a wind instrument. He blows, and everybody listens.
7. and blow-out n. a drinking party. What a blow over at Joe’s. I’ll never get sober. We blew out of the blow-out at about midnight.
8. tv. to snort any powdered drug; to take snuff. (Drugs.) Those guys spend all their time blowing coke.
9. in. to smoke marijuana. (Drugs.) He sits there blowing by the hour. How can he afford it?
10. n. cocaine. (Drugs.) You can get some good blow over at that crack house.
11. tv. to perform an act of oral sex on someone, especially males. (Usually objectionable.) Tom was looking for some bone addict who would blow him for nothing.


/break open
To get a sudden, insurmountable lead in (an athletic contest).


/toot (one's) own horn Informal
To brag or boast about oneself.

blow (one's)

top/stack Informal
To lose one's temper.
References in classic literature ?
But he was receiving the blows on his gloves and shoulders, rocking back and forth to the force of them like a tree in a storm, while the house cheered its delight.
So saying, Carter Watson tapped himself a sharp blow on the cheek.
Occasionally, and very carefully, the facetious sociologist administered a real bruising blow.
We are here to determine who struck the first blow, and we are not interested in your estimates of Mr.
There is at least the mystery of why so big a man should attempt so big a blow with so little a hammer.
The solid inspector for the first time looked at the blacksmith with a lively eye; as did everybody else, except the short, strange priest, who was still looking down at the little hammer that had dealt the dreadful blow.
The man was actually wearing an iron helmet, and the blow scattered it like broken glass.
Molly, beside her present unhappy condition, was differently formed in those parts, and might, perhaps, have tempted the envy of Brown to give her a fatal blow, had not the lucky arrival of Tom Jones at this instant put an immediate end to the bloody scene.
It is lucky for the women that the seat of fistycuff war is not the same with them as among men; but though they may seem a little to deviate from their sex, when they go forth to battle, yet I have observed, they never so far forget, as to assail the bosoms of each other; where a few blows would be fatal to most of them.
Upon which, forgetting the sex of Goody Brown, or perhaps not knowing it in his rage--for, in reality, she had no feminine appearance but a petticoat, which he might not observe--he gave her a lash or two with his horsewhip; and then flying at the mob, who were all accused by Moll, he dealt his blows so profusely on all sides, that unless I would again invoke the muse (which the good-natured reader may think a little too hard upon her, as she hath so lately been violently sweated), it would be impossible for me to recount the horse-whipping of that day.
Before the blow could fall, Billy had seized both the woman's wrists.
Some excitement occurred a score of feet away from them, and to the sound of exclamations and blows a surge ran through the crowd.
The word was given, and they plunged at each other as fiercely as before; once more the blows rained and rattled and flashed; every few moments the quick-eyed seconds would notice that a sword was bent--then they called "Halt
I stood close by, but could not tell which blows told and which did not, they fell and vanished so like flashes of light.
Ay, and if it blows only a little harder things will begin to go.